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Subject: The Dexterity-free Variant rss

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Ender Wiggins
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The problem

Imagine playing Yahtzee, but whenever you wanted to re-roll three dice, you just rolled two dice and had to use them to hit the third dice that you wanted to re-roll. That would be rather silly, and yet that's more or less how the dexterity element of Krakatoa works. On occasion you might be trying to hit more than one die, but mostly you're just aiming for a single die in play. And in reality, the outcome of doing this is just luck rather than skill. So why not just pick that single die up and re-roll it with the others, and forget the dexterity element altogether? The idea of dexterity in a dice game is nice, but only if it improves the game rather than making it worse.

The solution

All this got me thinking - since the dexterity element of this game doesn't work that great, why not just eliminate it? So here's my dexterity-free variant for Krakatoa. The game plays exactly the same as the original, with these small changes:

1. Dice are to be rolled like normal dice, and you may not change the values of any other already rolled dice when doing this.
This rule eliminates the dexterity mechanic of the original game.

2. Whenever you re-roll a set of dice, you choose one other die to re-roll along with it.
This rule ensures a similar outcome to the dexterity element of the original game.

3. Rolled dice can be picked up and moved/grouped (as long as the result is not altered), just as in most dice games.
This rule lets you arrange the sets together and makes scoring easier.

That's it! For the rest the game is played just like normal, minus the somewhat dysfunctional dexterity element. So each time you roll, you basically roll four dice instead of three, and you can keep the previously rolled dice to the side arranged by set.

Verdict

Krakatoa can be played much more quickly with this dexterity-free variant, at a Yahtzee-style pace, and without requiring as much table space as the original game. In my opinion the game-play doesn't really lose much from the original, since the dexterity element there was mostly about forcing another die to change rather than giving room for any real skill. The variant accomplishes a similar result in a better way, and many will find that this change actually improves the game.

We've really been enjoying playing the game this way. So I actually think it's a better game when played with the non-dexterity variant: it makes Krakatoa faster, more fun, more interesting, and less frustrating!
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Quinn Swanger
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Holly Springs
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So simple, yet brilliant! I ordered this game yesterday and will definitely be adding this variant to the box.
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pax domina
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That's a really elegant solution -- and we kind of like the dexterity element. I always refer to this game as an 'accountant's dream' in the scoring, and this variant retains that while promising a quicker outcome. I like it, and we'll be certain to try it soon.
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Steve Marano
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Nutley
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I'll add my voice to the group here and say that this is a great variant. And for those who prefer the standard dexterity version, there's really no reason why you couldn't combine both the variant and the standard rules in the same game. You could simply give players the option of either choosing one additional die to reroll (per the variant) or - if one wanted to change the outcome of more than one die - to play by the standard rule of 'you must hit at least one previously rolled die.'
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